San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Nicas in C.R. Brave Sun, Hunger and Bureaucracy


A tremendous line of people snakes around the Nicaraguan Embassy in San José – as it did through the week and will again Monday. The embassy, located in Barrio California in eastern San José, is open Monday through Friday, and every weekday morning, rain or shine, more than 100 Nicaraguans stand on the sidewalk for hours upon hours waiting for assistance. 
Those who pass by the building on their morning commutes have to marvel: “What is everyone waiting for?” Every day, a new line wraps around the embassy.  
On Aug. 25, a Wednesday, Jessenia and her mother Adaluz (who asked that their last names not be used) were two of the first people in the line. They joined the line at 3:30 a.m., and by the time the embassy opened it doors at 8:30 they were exhausted.
“We’re tired,” said Jessenia, 19, as the guards opened the embassy that morning. “We couldn’t eat breakfast and we were in the sun.” 
By that time, the number of people in line had expanded from a small cluster to approximately 200.
An estimated half-million Nicaraguans live in Costa Rica, and a result of so many immigrants in the country is a painfully slow process at the embassy just to receive appointments. A man selling fresh-squeezed orange juice near the line said he’s been selling juice there for five years now. There´s never been a day when he´s sold to a “short line.”
See the Sept. 3 print or digital edition of The Tico Times for the rest of this story.
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